Moving on

I’ve just sent a bunch of money to an international shipping company for a deposit.

I started looking into shipping costs a few months back, and checking out companies on the Better Business Bureau website, looking for places with no complaints registered. I know this doesn’t mean there have never been any problems ever, but just that nobody brought them to the BBB for resolution. Still, it’s at least a hint that they’re not entirely awful. (Yeah, that’s me being cynical.) At any rate, I’m hoping that things will go well.

At first, I had been planning on getting a place to live before I shipped my stuff over to Italy. My brother is putting me up at his place for the first couple of months, until I find my own apartment. Neither of us knows quite how long that will take, but I have six months from my date of arrival to ship my things into Italy duty-free as household goods, so getting it there sooner rather than later is really a good idea. There’s not much room at his place, but the shipper says they can hold it for me at the Italian end for a couple of weeks if necessary; it will take somewhere between 7-10 weeks to get from Seattle to Italy anyway, with a likely stop in the UK for transfer, so if it’s on the further end of that time, it should be sufficient. Still, the ability to have a little extra time before I’d need to start paying storage fees is useful if I end up needing it.

The shipment is scheduled for pickup on December 10th, two days before I get on the plane. It’s mostly my library, my art, and some personal items, but even after having sold about half of my library, that amounts to 55-ish boxes just of books. There’s a fair amount of other stuff as well. Having only lived in two places since the mid-90s caused a lot of stuff accumulation and I’m still finishing up the sorting through things. The moving sale is November 30th.

The shippers will come to my storage unit sometime in the early afternoon. I’ve arranged to have them call a couple of hours beforehand so that I can get down to Seattle from Everett to be there and let them in. Once they’ve arrived, they’ll do an inventory of the non-book stuff, which shouldn’t take all that long, and pack stuff into the truck. I doubt it will be more than a couple of hours, tops, because so much of the work has already been done. At that point, I’ll be able to close out my account at the storage unit and be done with pretty much everything here except the part where I come back to get my dog once I have my own place to live.

Yesterday was the DoDC+3’s visit to the vet. He went in for doggie dental (had three teeth removed) and to have his EU microchip implanted. The poor little guy is on antibiotics for ten days. He’s not happy, but he’s okay. Right now he’s curled up in his crate next to my little computer tray table. That and the bed are the only places he can rest now because there’s no more furniture to speak of, so he tends to split his time between the two. I’m looking into airlines and dealing with flying a pet, but that’s further down my priority list because I’m not taking him along next month. I’ve got the necessary paperwork, but it can’t be filled out until a few days before I take him with me.

Yesterday was also possibly my last visit to one of my favorite Seattle places, Travelers Tea Co. and Thali House. Its current location is up on Beacon Hill, near the veterans hospital where I have been going for years for my medical appointments. After my appointments, I usually stop in for a chai and some food until the traffic eases up, to make the trip back north to Everett a little smoother. I have two more VA appointments the first week of December, so I might be able to stop in again before I go.

Chef Allen Kornmesser, Leon Reed, and me at Travelers Thali House

Chef Allen Kornmesser, Leon Reed, and me at Travelers Thali House

I used to go to their Capitol Hill location until they lost it. I wrote much of my second book sitting at a table there, sipping chai and tapping away at my laptop to avoid the distractions of the internet, and to be surrounded by the comings and goings of my community. I was at Travelers yesterday with my friends Charles and Jeff, and ran into another acquaintance, Ani, who took this photo of me with Allen and Leon, the owners and the chef.

I’ve known Leon since I initially moved to Seattle in 1988, back when he and Allen were living in a big old house on 1st Avenue in Belltown, long since gone in the Downtown/Belltown development rush. They used to run Wortcunning herbs and incense out of their home, and the local Pagan shop Edge of the Circle got its start there as well, as the Shamanic Convergence, in a single room of the building in front of their house, rented by another friend, MiRobin. Leon worked at Tenzing Momo in the Pike Place Market for years, and they still make Wortcunning incense.

Over the years I’ve known them, they’ve been very encouraging and supportive of my work as a writer and poet. I’ve spent hours in their genial company, attended pujas in their sacred space (Allen practices Hinduism and has done so for many years), and had wide-ranging conversations with them about all manner of things. A lot of the Indian art I have, I got from them, from Allen’s trips to India as an importer. Allen’s also a fantastic artist himself, and huge paintings of Hindu gods that he’d created decorated the walls of the shop on the Hill. Sitting at a table at Travelers, there is always the chance of running into someone I know — artists, musicians, writers, filmmakers, photographers, dancers, goths and occultists and activists. Riots have happened outside the Capitol Hill shop, with both protestors and cops stopping in during the chaos for a moment of peace and a hot cup of chai in a safe and neutral space. Occupy Seattle was camped just up the street on the grounds of Seattle Central Community College. Indian sitarists and tabla players have performed there. They have hosted Bollywood film nights, and installations of Indian art, and the works of local artists and photographers as well. Classes have happened there amid the scents of Indian regional cooking, and warm, floating incense, steeped in a background of Indian music that has ranged from bhajans to cheesy Bollywood film soundtracks. Through everything, they have always offered a space for Seattle’s alternative communities.

Thanks, guys. I love you lots and I will miss you very much. I’ll be back when I come to visit Seattle and see all my friends!

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